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FREE This copy of me is yours to keep

a fresh new perspective on health and wellness |

A Peaceful

Pregnancy How prenatal massage soothes the mind and body PAGE 10




secrets to smaller pores

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enlighten me |


Cheryl Blumenthal

Why Does She Do It?

As a massage therapist at Massage Envy Spa in Massapequa Park, N.Y., Cheryl Blumenthal spends her days helping others heal. But why does she do it?

I always knew I wanted to do massage. It started when I was really little. I’d give everyone in my family back scratches and they loved it. And so did I. Most people dread their job. But I wake up looking forward to going to work. People feel awful when they come in to see me. But they leave feeling good. That inspires me, knowing how much of a difference I can make in someone’s life.

Keep It Clean

Pop quiz: Which room is the germiest in your house? Did you say the bathroom? Nope. It’s the kitchen. Keep the three ickiest hot spots in the house’s hub clean with these tips: SINK: With all the raw food that tends to land there, it’s a veritable party of pathogens. Make sure to rinse it daily with soap and water. If you’re handling raw meat or poultry, wash your hands first, then clean the sink before you put anything else in it. And pour diluted bleach down the drain every month or so. SPONGE: The damp, tiny crevices make this handy kitchen tool a breeding ground for germs, which then spread every time you wipe your countertops. Put it in the dishwasher using the “heated dry” setting, or wet it and heat it on high in the microwave for a minute or two once a week. CUTTING BOARD: Scrub it with a paste made from 1 tablespoon each: baking soda, salt and water. Then rinse it with hot water, run it through the dishwasher or microwave it on high for 30 seconds.

me massage envy magazine, spring 2014. Published for Massage Envy Spa by McMURRY/TMG, LLC. me massage envy magazine is published for the purpose of disseminating information for the well-being of the general public and Massage Envy Spa’s members. The information contained in me massage envy magazine is not intended for the purpose of diagnosing or prescribing. Please

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consult your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines. Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved. Creative direction by McMURRY/TMG, LLC.

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Q & Ahhh

Massage Envy Spa experts answer your questions

Q. I’m training for a marathon. What are the benefits of massage for long-distance runners? A. Massage therapy is very effective for any athlete, whether a marathon runner or a weekend warrior. The body needs time to repair and strengthen itself between workouts. And regularly scheduled massage sessions—one hour each week is optimal—offer a space for relaxation while providing many physical and emotional benefits. When training for a specific event, the muscles are often overworked and stressed, which can cause pain and shortened and fatigued muscles. Massage not only promotes flexibility, which will decrease the risk of injury, but has also been shown to reduce post-workout recovery time, loosen scar tissue, lengthen muscles, decrease stress and anxiety, reduce fatigue and improve balance and flexibility. So lace up those shoes and go for it! But don’t forget to honor that incredible body of yours with rest and relaxation. —C.G. Funk, Licensed Massage Therapist and Vice President, Industry Relations and Product Development, Massage Envy Spa Do you have a question for our experts about massage therapy? Contact Type “Ask C.G.” in the subject line.

Don’t Leave These at Home

It’s finally spring break! Stay healthy while you travel by remembering to pack these items: 1. Prescription medication. If you’re flying, pack your meds in your carry-on and bring copies of all prescriptions (including the generic names). 2. A decent first-aid kit. Besides the usual bandages and ointments, include insect repellent containing DEET, sunscreen (SPF 15 or higher) and antibacterial hand wipes. 3. An assortment of over-thecounter remedies. Pack a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, antihistamines and an antacid to cover all your bases.

Relax and Recharge In today’s world, it’s practically a given to feel stressed. We all have too much to do and not enough time to do it. But keeping your tension in check can help you sleep better, get sick less often and reduce neck and back pain. How can you recharge your batteries? breathe. Deep breathing relaxes your muscles and clears your mind. Try this: Each morning before you get out of your car to head into the office, take one slow, deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.

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Work it out. Exercising for 30 min-

utes a day can help get those feel-good chemicals called endorphins flowing. If you don’t have 30 minutes at a time, that’s OK. Do three 10s instead: a 10-minute walk in the morning, another after lunch and a 10-minute power gardening session after dinner. Pick up the phone. Talking to a good friend for a few minutes can give you a whole new outlook on your day. Even better? Chatting while you take a walk. spring 2014 me magazine


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rejuvenate me |

h e l p i n g yo u p u t yo u r b est fac e fo rwa r d

Pore Primer Dreaming about smaller pores? Discover what you can do in the here and now

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We all have our skin enemies. For some of us, it’s pimples. Others are looking to take down fine lines. But one of the most common foes of all: large pores. “While sometimes an unattractive annoyance, pores do serve a purpose,” says Howard Murad, MD, founder of Murad Inc. “Pores house a hair follicle and sebaceous gland, and serve as a gateway for sebum, our skin’s natural oil.” If you have larger pores, you’re more likely to produce more of that natural oil, which makes you prone to blackheads. “People with larger pores also have a dewy complexion, which some like, so it’s not a bad thing,” Dr. Murad adds. “It is truly a person’s preference if they want a more matte finish versus a dewy finish.”

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If you’re looking for someone to blame for your pore size, blame your parents—as it is largely genetic. “Aside from very invasive treatments, which do not always work, the actual size of a person’s pores cannot be changed,” Dr. Murad notes. But you can alter the appearance of them. Debris can stretch them and make them appear larger, so removing that debris is key. Plus, blackheads occur when a follicle is blocked, causing oils, dirt and bacteria to accumulate inside the pore and make it appear larger. Ready to slim down those dots? Follow this four-step plan.


Keep pores clean and clear.

To help minimize the appearance of pores, cleanse your skin twice a day, and look for products that keep pores clean and healthy, such as Murad’s new Blackhead & Pore Clearing Duo. The first step, an extracting mask treatment containing volcanic mineral clay and shikakai extract, detoxifies skin and helps remove dirt and excess oil to visibly reduce the appearance of pore size. The second step is the Pore Refining Sealant, which protects pores from new debris, helping to keep blackheads at bay.


Avoid pore-clogging products.

Check the labels on your moisturizer and makeup, and make sure they are “noncomedogenic,” meaning they won’t clog pores.


Wear sunscreen. The sun’s ultraviolet rays damage skin and can lead to larger, damaged pores over time, Dr. Murad says. A daily sunscreen can help slow the process.


Add an anti-aging step to your routine. “As you age, your skin loses

elasticity because of decreased collagen and elastin production,” Dr. Murad says. “The more collagen we lose, the weaker the pores’ natural support structure becomes, which allows more dirt and debris to collect.” Add an anti-aging element to your skincare regimen—consider an anti-aging facial at Massage Envy Spa—to fight back.

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Ask Dr. Murad

Massage Envy Spa skin expert answers your questions

In each issue, Howard Murad, MD, founder of Murad Inc., answers reader questions. This issue, he offers advice on acne.

Q. There are so many products out there that claim to cure acne, but most don’t really work. What should I be looking for in products that treat acne? A. Navigating the world of acne products can be confusing, and there are a few things to understand before you begin your search. First off, there are only three ingredients that have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating acne—salicylic acid, sulfur and benzoyl peroxide—so look for these ingredients. Secondly, it’s important to find products that address all of the issues that are causing the acne. This means incorporating ingredients that not only treat the problem, but also those that will protect the skin’s barrier function and make it as healthy as possible so it can take care of itself. In addition to the ingredients mentioned above, seek out products that contain antioxidants, anti-inflammatories and hydrators. I recommend trying Murad’s newest kit, the Acne Healthy Skin Regimen Kit. It features Murad’s two newest acne products, which contain the ingredients needed to help you achieve a clear, healthy complexion.

Do you have a skincare question for Dr. Murad? If so, send an email to or send a tweet to @DrMurad. Your question may be featured in the next issue!

Schedule a Facial

Whether you’re unhappy about your pores or agonizing over acne, Massage Envy Spa’s aestheticians can help. To learn more about the services available, visit

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heal me


h e l p fu l h i n ts fo r yo u r g o o d h e a lt h

Healthy Tweets

Follow us on Twitter at @MassageEnvy for health and wellness tips and tricks.

The Omega Advantage Get your daily dose of these fatty acids to reap head-to-toe health benefits

Spend enough time reading health news or watching infomercials, and you’ll see what you likely already know: We’re all on the lookout for simple ways to be healthier. Well, there’s one easy thing you can do today: Get your omega-3s.

Why you need them

Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids. They’re essential to our health but our bodies can’t make them, which is why getting them from foods and supplements is so important. These healthy fats have been shown to play a role in reducing heart disease risk by helping to lower blood pressure and triglyceride levels. And that’s not all, says Libby Mills, RDN, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “Omega-3s are great anti-inflammatories,” she says. Some studies suggest that omega-3s can help with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease. They’re also important for brain health.

Where to get them

There are two main types of omega-3s. The first can be found in plant sources, Mills says. Walnuts, flaxseeds, and soybean and canola oils are great options, as are some vegetables, such as kale, cauliflower and spinach. Find the second type in fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna. Aim to eat a serving (3 to 4 ounces) of fatty fish at least twice a week. And add walnuts or ground flaxseed to your morning oatmeal to further boost your intake, Mills says. If you can’t seem to get enough omega-3s through food alone, talk to your doctor about supplements. By adding these essential fatty acids to your diet, you’ll receive all the health benefits—without having to order anything from a late-night infomercial.

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T i p s fo r m a k i n g f i t n es s a way o f l i f e

| move me

Fitness Fibs We set you straight on four myths that persist

Stay Safe Out There

Balance your workout regimen and reduce your risk of injury with regular sports massage. To learn more, visit MassageEnvy. com/Massage.

Crunches are the key to flat abs. If you want to lose weight, just hop on the treadmill. We’ve all heard them (and believed them) at some point. Here, we sort fact from fiction with the help of Lori Michiel, a certified personal trainer with more than 40 years of experience and a member of the National Academy of Sports Medicine.

Myth: No pain, no gain.

Fact: “You should expect to have some degree of soreness a day or two after a hard workout,” Michiel says. “But exercise shouldn’t hurt while you’re doing it, and if it does, then either you’re doing it wrong or overdoing it.” Stop, rest and see if the pain goes away. If it continues or increases after you reboot, it’s time to see a doctor.

Myth: The best way to get washboard abs is by doing crunches or using an ab machine.

Fact: Pilates, which works the entire core (not just the abs), is a better bet. But remember, you

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need to get rid of belly fat before abs will be visible, and that is achieved through diet and exercise, Michiel says.

Myth: Losing weight means being a slave to the stair climber.

Fact: While exercise is certainly an important part of shedding pounds, what you eat is even more so. And to reach and maintain a healthy weight, you’ll need both.

Myth: Energy drinks keep you hydrated and replace important electrolytes lost through exercise.

Fact: Most commercial energy drinks are full of processed sugar and megadoses of caffeine, Michiel says. Such beverages can increase blood pressure and heart rate, and stimulate the kidneys to produce more urine, which in turn can actually have a dehydrating effect. Stick to the classic, always-hydrating H2O before, during and after your workout. spring 2014 me magazine


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nourish me |

Fo o d fo r t h o u g h t a b o u t g o o d n u t r i t i o n

Do You Know Your Yogurt? Before you stock your fridge, learn more about what’s in that container Yogurt is many things to many people—a balanced breakfast, a speedy snack, an after-dinner treat—and for good reason. “Yogurt is packed full of nutrition needed for our bodies, including carbohydrates, protein, and vitamins and minerals,” says Kristi King, RDN, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. But with such a dizzying array of options in the dairy aisle, the question isn’t just, “Should I choose vanilla or strawberry?” We break down what you need to know to make the best choice.

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Nutrition Info:


REGULAR YOGURT is made by adding bacteria to pasteurized milk. The bacteria ferment the milk and produce lactic acid, which causes the milk protein to thicken and take on its unique taste. Yogurt is then strained twice through a cheesecloth, allowing the liquid whey to drain off.

Creamy and slightly sour.

It’s high in calcium and protein.

If you’re the traditional type, this is for you. Just make sure to choose plain, non- or low-fat varieties, and add your own fruit if you need some sweetness.

GREEK YOGURT is strained three times (as opposed to two, like regular yogurt) so it has even less whey and, as a result, is thicker than regular yogurt.

Tangier and less sweet than regular yogurt.

It has less sugar and almost twice as much protein than its regular counterpart. However, it’s often lower in calcium, so check the label.

Greek yogurt is a smart substitute for sour cream and mayonnaise in recipes. It’s also lower in carbohydrates than regular yogurt, making it a good choice for those watching their carb intake.

ICELANDIC YOGURT, also known as skyr, is made with skim milk only, so you can be sure it’s fat-free. And like Greek yogurt, it is made with three times the amount of milk than more traditional varieties.

Creamier than Greek yogurt and slightly tart.

It’s fat-free and delivers roughly the same amount of protein as Greek yogurt.

Icelandic yogurt is technically a soft cheese but contains live active cultures.

KEFIR is a cultured milk product that’s made with either kefir grains or a powdered kefir starter. Kefir grains aren’t actual grains—they’re made of bacteria and yeast.

Fizzy, light and foamy because of the yeast, which gives it a touch of natural carbonation.

It’s slightly higher in protein than regular yogurt (though slightly lower than Greek) and has a little more calcium than regular yogurt. Kefir also contains B vitamins.

You can drink kefir with a straw, so it’s slightly more convenient than those that come in a plastic container. And because of its liquid consistency, it’s commonly used as a base for smoothies.

FROZEN YOGURT is made with cultured milk. In its original state, it has live cultures. During the freezing process, however, the probiotics die off.

Tart or creamy and sweet, depending on what’s added to it.

Frozen yogurt is often lower in fat and calories than regular ice cream. And while it does provide some calcium, there’s often quite a bit of sugar added to make it sweet, so be careful not to overdo it.

If you’re looking for an occasional lowercalorie, lower-fat frozen dairy product, this is a good option.

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A Wholesome Online Experience

Find more needto-know nutrition nuggets on our blog at MassageEnvy. com/Blog.

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MOMS-TO-BE ARE FAMILIAR with being a little achy, uncomfortable and, let’s be honest, out of sorts. But unlike those middle-of-the-night kicks to the lungs, you can do something about it. Prenatal massage, which is tailored specifically to the needs of the pregnant body, can make you feel like yourself again. Discover five of the hands-on benefits.

Mama Massage

Pregnancy pains? Prenatal massage offers relief BY LESLI E PE PPE R

EASE THE BLUES. The way the greeting cards and baby shower bloggers tell it, pregnancy is the happiest, most smile-filled time of your life. But sometimes, it’s just not. In a study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers studied 84 depressed pregnant women during their second trimester. After receiving 16 weeks of 20-minute massage therapy sessions, the group felt less anxious and depressed, and had higher levels of the feel-good chemicals dopamine and serotonin. They also had lower levels of the stress hormones cortisol and norepinephrine. An added bonus for baby: In the study, the changes in hormone levels led to fewer complications during birth and fewer instances of newborn complications, such as prematurity and low birth weight.

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BANISH BACK PAIN. Carrying those extra pounds changes your center of gravity and puts added stress on your back, neck, ab muscles and shoulders. Is it any wonder your back feels as if it’s breaking? Massage not only stretches these tightened muscles but also helps move lymphatic fluid, sweeping toxins away in the process. “The lymph system doesn’t have its own pump, so we have to help it along,” says Maureen Moon, a spokeswoman for the American Massage Therapy Association. REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE STILL YOU. “Pregnant women catch a glimpse of themselves in the mirror and all they can think is, ‘Is that me?’ ” Moon says. A massage helps remind you that you’re more than just a belly that strangers feel compelled to touch. “You have a neck, hands, feet, shoulders—and they all deserve attention as well,” Moon says.

Keep up your massage routine after delivery to help balance postpartum hormones and reduce stress.

Become a Member

Monthly prenatal massages are easy with a Massage Envy Spa membership. Visit MassageEnvy. com/Membership to learn more.

Finding the Right Fit Your prenatal therapist should:

SOOTHE SCIATICA. As your expanded uterus rests on the pelvic floor and lower back muscles during late pregnancy, it can create pain in the sciatic nerve. This can lead to shooting pain from your lower back to your legs and even feet. It can also cause a burning or pins-and-needles sensation. A massage can help release tension in the muscles near the inflamed nerves in the area. SLEEP BETTER. Are your hips hurting from all that side sleeping yet? Massage can reduce those aches, resulting in a more comfortable night’s rest. Plus, because massage relaxes the nervous system, you’ll be in a more tranquil state when you turn in.

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Have experience. Look for someone who has education and training specifically in prenatal massage, and follows safe practices for both pregnant mom and baby. Never put you flat on your back after your fourth month. Using supportive, soft cushions, the sideline position can take the strain off the lower back and pelvic area. Have unscented oils and lotions available to you. Some scents could turn you off and some could even stimulate uterine contractions.

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Tulips or tiger lilies? DJ or band? Steak or fish? Choosing the person you were going to spend your life with was easy compared to this! With its time, expense and importance, a wedding is a naturally stressful time. In fact, in its 2010 Real Wedding Survey, media company The Knot noted that about half of the brides surveyed found wedding planning to be more stressful than they expected. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Make wedding planning easier with these seven moves.


Slow down. Feeling rushed is a major cause of unnecessary stress, says Jamie Miles, an editor with Think about what you want your wedding to look like and how much time each week you have to devote to planning. Then, set a realistic wedding date.

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“Once you’re married, you’re married,” Miles says. “There’s no need to rush to get there.”

“Keep perspective on what the day actually means, and don’t sweat the small stuff.”


Involve your partner. “Don’t feel it’s just on you as the bride to put your entire wedding together,” Miles says. Make sure your significant other is involved. He might be more interested in music and food than the dress and flowers, she says. Take advantage of that. Plus, a wedding shouldn’t be a “surprise party” for your spouse. It should reflect you as a couple.


Delegate. While you don’t want to overload your bridesmaids and groomsmen, you chose these people for a reason, Miles says. Let them plan the bachelor party —Jamie Miles, and bridal shower. Assign them tasks for the wedding day (such as giving the final check to the DJ), editor

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Wedded Blitz

Seven ways to curb the wedding planning craziness By St e phani e R. Conner

or have them over for a fun night of assembling wedding favors.


Set a budget and stick to it. “You want to avoid stressing about the finances,” Miles says. Having a budget from the beginning of the planning process helps you prevent (or at least limit) bank-breaking splurges.


Consider a wedding planner. Wedding planners come at various price points and can help ease your burden. You can work with someone throughout the whole process or hire a coordinator just to keep the big day on schedule.


Forget perfect. “Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be ‘bride perfect,’ ” Miles says. If you didn’t have time for that spray tan session or you didn’t lose those last couple of pounds, no one will know. Remember what matters—and that’s the union you’re celebrating.


Take care of yourself. Don’t forget to take time for yourself. Hit the gym, eat healthy meals and engage in stress-reducing activities like massage (make it a couples massage with your partner!), yoga or acupuncture.

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It’s All About YOU

Weddings are exciting, and everyone has an opinion. And that can be stressful, says Allyson Levine Joseph. A wedding planner for 14 years who recently got married, Joseph knows the impact of outside forces. “People tend to stress about … what it’s going to mean to everyone else,” she says. “Remember this day is yours. If something is causing stress and is more for somebody else than what you actually connect to as a couple … then it’s not worth having.” If you’re worried about offending Mom, ask for her help on something else, suggests editor Jamie Miles. “Give her an outline in terms of what you’re looking for, and give her room to provide feedback,” Miles says. Maybe you’re looking for a florist in a particular area with a certain budget. “She’ll feel included, and it will feel like a special bonding moment.” And if you don’t want

Make the Process Painless

Finding time to de-stress is important for every bride-tobe. Make monthly massages a part of your planning schedule with a membership to Massage Envy Spa. Learn more at Membership.

unsolicited feedback from family and friends? Stay off of Facebook. “Be cognizant about posting less on social media, and you’ll find you’re getting less feedback,” she says.

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soothe me


l i v i n g ev e ry day to i ts fu l l est

Moving On How to deal and heal after a breakup Breaking up is hard to do. And then there’s the whole wanting to curl up into a fetal position thing. But rest assured that this, too, shall pass. There are even a few things you can do to hasten the process.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

Don’t beat yourself up for not handling things perfectly or hang on to criticism that might have been hurled at you in the heat of the moment. Accept the fact that you may not be as productive at work or a particularly attentive friend Get a for a few days (or weeks). Pick-Me-Up And understand that you Treat yourself by need to go through a process adding aromatherapy of grieving and letting go. or sugar foot scrub therapy to your Keep Your Distance next massage. Visit Avoid contact with your ex, to except where children are learn more. involved (and then keep things only about the kids). “The more you stay in touch with your ex the harder it’s going to be for you to emotionally and cognitively disengage,” says Timothy J. Loving, PhD, an associate professor in the department of human development and family sciences at the University of Texas at Austin.

Get Out There

Isolation increases anxiety and stress levels. Now’s not the time to retreat, but instead to charge forward. Try things you’ve always been curious about (hot yoga, golfing, blogging) or reacquaint yourself with hobbies you haven’t had time for.

Cheer Up

Look for healthy ways to blow off steam and get your endorphins going. Get a massage or take a bike ride. Making smart lifestyle choices will help you move forward with a positive perspective.

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massage and me


Regular massage helps Kendra Buscho maintain an active lifestyle. She recently hiked Peru’s Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.

A Fresh Perspective What’s Your Story?

Tell us how massage improves your life and you could be featured in our next issue. Send an email to memberstories@ with your name and phone number and a brief description of how you benefit from being a Massage Envy Spa member. We’ll take it from there.

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Massage Envy Spa member Kendra Buscho has found the secret to easing her neck pain: massage

I SPEND A LOT OF MY TIME in my car or at my desk. That’s because I’m a real estate agent and a contracting manager for my family’s heating and cooling business. The summer months are especially busy in the air conditioning business, and that means a lot of stress. I signed up for a Massage Envy Spa membership several years ago, and I’ve come to think of my visits as a necessary luxury. Kendra Buscho, 32, I’ve been in mulof Phoenix tiple car accidents, which have left me with residual scar tissue. One accident resulted in so much back, neck and shoulder strain on

my left side that I had to have physical therapy. I have full movement in my arm and shoulder now, but my neck has fused slightly. Massage—I get sports or deep tissue work—helps loosen my muscles and joints. It also makes it possible for me to continue leading an active lifestyle—lifting weights, running, hiking and biking. Massage Envy Spa therapists are very accommodating and skilled. I really like the fact that when I am traveling, I can visit one of their spas and know that I will be taken care of. Whether I’m home or away, I know that I may go in all tied up with stress, but I will always leave feeling really good. And of course that motivates me to set aside an hour and a half out of my busy schedule to go back for more. —As told to Jo Ostgarden spring 2014 me magazine


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Massage Envy Spa gift cards: New ways to relax for the mom who does it all. Ready to gift for Mother’s Day, May 11 at your local Massage Envy Spa.

CONVENIENT HOURS · LOCATIONS NATIONWIDE · FRANCHISES AVAILABLE · Rates and services may vary by location and session. Not all Massage Envy Spa locations offer facial and other services. For a specific list of services available, check with the specific location or see Additional local taxes and fees may apply. Each location is independently owned and operated. ©2014 Massage Envy Franchising, LLC.

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me Magazine Spring 2014  

A fresh perspective on health and wellness from Massage Envy Spa

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